In their first book Do Hard Things, Alex & Brett Harris challenged young people to break out of the stereotypical teenage mold of low expectations and do something noteworthy. They challenged their readers “to do hard things for the glory of God and, in the process, turn the world’s idea of what teens are capable of upside down.” (p.1) In their follow up book, Start Here, they seek to provide some guidance and suggestions for just exactly where to start doing hard things.
One of the most difficult parts of doing something challenging is knowing where and how to start. Through the Harrises’ first book, many young people were challenged to do something hard but perhaps didn’t know what to do. In Start Here, the Harrises give very sound, practical advice and tips for getting thing started by offering such questions for consideration as:
- “What do I like to do? – Doing hard things is challenging, but…it often involves something we enjoy.” (p.12)
- “What can I learn from others?”
- “What is my goal?”
- “How can I get my friends involved?”
- “What should I do when I’m done with a hard thing?”
Along the way, they give many concrete examples of young people who have faced challenges with their “hard thing” and how they worked through those obstacles. They also deal with the issue of pride and how to handle attention – both positive and negative – that may come by attempting out of the ordinary things. At the end of the book is a very helpful list of 100 “real-life examples” that other young people have done and includes things like “memorized a whole book of the Bible,” “learned Spanish,” “wrote an encouraging letter to my youth pastor,” “donated blood to the Red Cross,” and “apologized.” This list is a great tool to help the reader start thinking about what kinds of things he or she can do.
There were several things that I especially appreciated about this book. First was the emphasis that hard things should be done for the glory of God. This theme is prevalent throughout and is a constant reminder that as Christians, everything we do is for the praise and glory of God. Second, was the excellent emphasis on learning from others, but especially from the wisdom that comes from parents. It’s very easy to write off parents as out of touch or worse, but the Harrises recognize the truth of Scripture in children honoring their parents, even when they might be opposed to the hard thing the young person wants to do. In their own words, “Honoring your parents is commanded in Scripture. Odds are that your specific project is not. When in doubt, side with what God makes clear in his word.” (pp.34-35)
Start Here is a great book for young people to read for help in how to move beyond the have-fun-while-you’re-still-young mindset and start really building the “muscles of responsibility.” Every young person should read this book.
(This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.)
Next Friday, March 26 2010, I’ll be giving away a copy of Alex & Brett Harris’ book, Start Here. The deadline for entering the drawing is Thursday night by midnight, March 25, 2010. To be entered in the drawing to win Start Here, you can do one or more of the following. For each method you use, you’ll receive one entry into the drawing (3 entries possible).
- Post a comment below.
- Link to this post from your blog.
- On Twitter, RT “@Eskypades: Book Giveaway! Enter to win “Start Here” at http://wp.me/pzfPF-bZ”
I’ll randomly select the winner sometime Friday afternoon, March 26, 2010. (Giveaway is open to US residents only.)